Shoes, glorious shoes, don’t you just love them? Shoes never fail to attract attention, make a statement, complete an outfit or serve a practical purpose ““ and we couldn’t live without them.

Chances are you own numerous pairs of shoes, including gorgeous heels, heavenly flats and cool boots. Each shoe type needs special attention if it’s to last a long time, and with trendy labels and fashionable brands costing a few quid you need to get the most from each investment.

Factors like storage and exposure to the elements can wreak havoc with the look of shoes and cause them to be binned before their time. Luckily, with a few simple steps you can ensure your shoe collection is in order and stays that way ““ which means you won’t need to panic next time you reach into your wardrobe for your favourite pair of platforms or trusted sturdy boots.

Wipe away each day

It’s good to get into the habit of cleaning your shoes, be they walking boots or delicate heels, at the end of each day. This way, not only will they stay looking clean but you’ll prevent long-term damage too.

So when you get in from work, from a hard day’s shopping or from marching the streets with your dogs, you should pause and spare a couple of minutes for your footwear. Even if you’ve only gone from your car to your spotless office all day, you’ll be amazed how many markings your shoes can have by the time you get home ““ from water and dirt to mud. Shoes are like magnets for any dirt that’s going, it often seems!

All you need to do is grab a dry cloth or slightly damp paper towel, depending on the material, and give them a quick wipe.

Clean and check

In addition to the above, you should invest in some proper shoe cleaner, especially for your expensive leather and suede shoes. For example, buy some leather polish and a quality suede brush and clean these shoes often.

Also, keep your eyes open for any signs of wear and tear before it’s too late. By getting the heels replaced on shoes, for example, you can significantly extend their life.

Stand upright

Tempting as it is to kick off your heels after work and shake off your boots after dancing, you should resist. Piling up shoes or not providing the necessary support means they’ll lose their shape and start to fray sooner. Instead, store your shoes upright and use inserts with tall boots ““ if you haven’t got anything suitable, try a rolled up magazine inside each one to help the boots retain their shape.

Create space

No doubt you have ample space for your shoe collection, but if not then it’s time to invest in proper storage. Too much exposure to sunlight leads to fading, so keep shoes in a dark place, and avoid letting them pile up at the bottom of your wardrobe or they will get scuffed and squished. Use items like shoe trees and organisers to help if wardrobe space is limited, as storing them correctly will help your shoes stay young.